‘Revenge’ Recap: A Trip to L.A. and Two Kinds of Prostitution

'Revenge' Faux-mance
And an equally fake romance on the ABC drama.
If there was anything the latest episode of ABC’s Revenge gave us, it was a fun drinking game.

Take a shot/drink every time a character used the actual title of the episode, “Collusion,” as a verb. Take a shot/drink every time Emily (Emily VanCamp) had to save the men in her life from their own shortsightedness. Take a shot/drink every time the Initiative storyline made you roll your eyes. Drunk yet? Then maybe you had more fun with this episode than I did…

Note: Spoilers ahead if you have yet to see Sunday night’s “Collusion.”

“Collusion” started off with what should have been a celebration in the Grayson house, as it was Charlotte’s (Christa B. Allen) 18th birthday. But considering she’s kind of the afterthought of the family, everyone was too busy with their own business and schemes to really even remember, let alone acknowledge her. Conrad (Henry Czerny) was getting the goods on the truth about Joe Ryan’s murder from Amanda (Margarita Levieva), Daniel (Josh Bowman) was jetting off to Los Angeles to close a business deal and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) was following her baby boy there — to try to ensure that Jason Prosser (Dylan Walsh) land the company instead.

First things first: Conrad, Amanda, and Jack (Nick Wechsler) sat down to discuss Jack’s legal woes. And ever the good guy (cough, sucker) that Jack is, he refused to snitch on Matt for the murder. Amanda had no problem spilling the beans, though, and Conrad came up with a plan: He would buy the Ryans out of the bar, as well as give them proof on who shot their father (which, let’s face it, is not nearly as interesting as vintage Dallas’ “Who shot J.R.?,” though it has the same tone). Of course, this meant the Porters were now in business with the Graysons, and we all know how slimy the Graysons can be. But it was the lesser of two evils, really.

Maybe. See, Conrad is running for mayor, so when Kenny (Michael Trucco) went to him to try to buy the bar back, he actually appealed to his platform by explaining how he could use “muscle” to turn the hardworking businesses of the docks into gambling arenas. The odd thing was that his big bro (J.R. Bourne) didn’t seem to want to push it nearly as hard, just happy to have the truth (and soon, justice) for their dear old dad. Disagreement within that family is sure to leave one of them on the bottom of the Amanda. I’ve been saying for a long time that it will probably be Bourne and this episode did nothing to convince me otherwise.

Over in Los Angeles, where Daniel dragged Emily (surprise!), it was all about appealing to the philanthropic side of a woman (Sherri Saum) who was looking for a company to continue on her father’s legacy. Daniel stumbled; Emily saved the day. Emily used Aiden (Barry Sloane) to convince Jason he didn’t even want the account, to give Daniel the edge. Victoria basically promised herself to Jason, if he made sure to outbid and outsmart to outlast Daniel. It was a whole lot of manipulation and deception about a boring business deal. Honestly, the most interesting element to come out of it was the fact that Victoria was willing to basically prostitute herself to get her way.

And speaking of prostitutes, it turned out, that’s what Aiden’s sister was up to. The Initiative had her and they were supplying her with drugs. Helen (Wendy Crewson) promised she would be safe if Aiden just did one teensy favor: kill Victoria. He was all set to do so — family first and all — but Emily stopped him. She had real reasons, but in the end, when the Initiative killed his sister and made it look like an overdose (which they filmed and sent him), all he could see was that Emily probably still wanted to take care of Victoria herself.

But that’s getting harder and harder to justify. Sure, Victoria is right up there with the world’s worst mothers, Norma Bates included, but the Initiative is driving so much of the story, and of Victoria’s actions — which are mostly reactions to things the organization is doing — that they’re really the ones Emily has to focus on. And the further “outside” the Graysons she looks, the more convoluted the corruption and conspiracy becomes.

Emily came clean to Daniel about the fact that his mother put her up to reconnecting with him initially, but she kept the fact that she was still working with Victoria to herself. He claimed to have his suspicions about all of this, since there’s not one aspect of his life in which his mother doesn’t meddle, but it’s hard to believe he could be so aware of that and so oblivious about just about everything else. Still, it was a nice moment for those two, even if it’s getting harder and harder to root for them as a couple.

The only interesting part of “Collusion” for me was when Nolan (Gabriel Mann) casually let it slip that he was working on a program that could shut off all of Manhattan’s power. Um, literally? Because that’s the start of NBC’s Revolution, only that’s a version of that show — and this one, actually — that I would much rather watch. Let’s get to telling that story soon, hmm?

Buzz Moments

OMG!: Can’t Daniel do anything for himself? He needed Emily to help him land business deals before he was CEO (and let’s not forget the technicality that let him become CEO in the first place), and now he still couldn’t drive the deal home without her? Clearly he should have stuck to poetry.

Thank you, TV gods: The Ryans finally learned the truth about who killed their father. Sure, it wasn’t enough, and sure, Jack couldn’t muster the self-serving nature needed to snitch, but at least it’s all out in the open.

Awk-ward: Charlotte’s first adult decision was to change her name. Not move far away from the parents who lied to her and stole from her and manipulated her. But, simply change her name to feel “free.” Obviously, she still has a lot of growing up to do.

Hotness: Los Angeles looked colder than usual when Daniel and Emily visited, but at least it was warm enough for him to strip down by the pool!

Fab-u-lous: I rarely notice Emily’s infinity tattoo, but when I do, I smile because it reminds me (and should remind her) of why there should be investment in this increasingly crazy story in the first place. I don’t know if she tries to cover it so the Graysons don’t get suspicious, but it was pretty visible when she was in Los Angeles. And it’s a style choice I approve!

Can. Not. Wait.: How much of a loose cannon will Aiden turn out to be? And will Emily have to take action against him just so he doesn’t ruin her plans?

Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 6

What did you think of “Collusion?” Let us know in the comments below!

Danielle Turchiano

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